Black Bear Half Marathon – Right Where I Should Be…

When you set a big enough goal, just being near it is a form of affirmation! I didn’t quite hit the time I was looking for this weekend, but falling 41 seconds short on a course with 1800′ of elevation does not make me feel like my training isn’t working. Contrary to feeling defeated, I feel resolved to get even stronger and work even harder. I love the fire it stirs in me. With consistent higher volume and aerobic training I’ve managed to work my 10k pace from a year ago into my half marathon pace now. The endurance wasn’t even the major challenge in this race. It was telling myself it was okay to start out at the speed I did, rather than trying to slow down.

I went into the race yesterday planning on using the energy and fellow competitors to help me reach a time goal, but the last mile was truly a battle to win it. Something I am still quite unfamiliar with. I ended up losing by seven seconds to a 15 year old kid running his first half marathon. To my credit and his though, we both dusted an accomplished runner from England and a pack of guys from Northeastern. This kid will have an amazing year of cross country if he has a 1:20 half in him at the end of the summer off. I was using the race as my spec test for my upcoming marathon, so I ended the day with about 18 total and I’m feeling all of them today.

My training from last week, leading up to the half:

Monday: Easy run 5 miles @ (7:10/mile) was slightly achy after a 20 the day before

Tuesday: Fartlek Training- 3 miles easy + 8X3 min. @ half marathon pace / 2 min. @ easy pace + 3 miles easy — 12.4 miles total (5:50/mile avg in the “on” sections)

Wednesday: Easy run 5.5 miles @ (7:11/miles) Easy run 5.5 miles @ (7:23/mile)

Thursday: Easy run + hill sprints 8.3 total @ (7:18/mile) Very muggy trudge

Friday: Fartlek run- 1.5 mile warm up + 5 miles with 9×30 sec. @ 5k-400m pace every couple minutes in. Plan called for 4 total with the fartlek, but I felt like adding on.

Saturday: Cheered on my dad and a bunch of friends in a local 5k, they all ran hard and two of my friends snatched big PRs! I ran 2ish total @ (7:00/mile) just to keep my legs feeling okay.

Sunday: Race day called for an early morning drive to the course up in the mountains. Arrived early enough to register and get in some good dynamic stretching and a 2 mile warm-up @ (8:07/mile) I ran a few strides to clear nerves and tighten up my legs before the race and my joints and legs felt just okay. They did not feel totally great, but that’s usually a good sign for me. I ended up running closer to 13.2 with crossing the street multiple times, etc. My pace on the watch was (6:07/mile) one second off of my goal pace, felt alright! I did feel like puking as I ran the last tenth to the finish, preventing me from putting in a strong enough kick to even go for first place. My last mile was a 5:58 though, so that was nice. Finished up after the race with another 2+ miles @ (7:30/mile) and some more easy stretching and a little rolling on my hips.

Total weekly mileage was 63+
(All runs were in New Balance 1080s and 1400s on the easy to medium runs and 1600s for the race.)

Song of the Post

Picture of the start/finish area of the race. Spectacular!



2 thoughts on “Black Bear Half Marathon – Right Where I Should Be…

  1. Epic blog. I myself set a weird goal of qualifying for Boston 2015 for no reason other than to test myself and prove I came do it. Anyway… I was wondering how you chose your shoes? Did you just pick a heavier/plushy one for the easy runs? and then scale down (up?) to your race shoes? Or was there a specific reason why you chose the 1080/1400/1600?

    • Thanks! I decided to BQ for nearly the same reason, just wanted to see if I could do it, the training ended up being so fun that I became hooked and couldn’t get enough.
      I love New Balance as a company and luckily I love their race flats too, both the 1400 and 1600, though they aren’t actually true flats. They both have minimal heel to toe drop and thus feel more like a flat or neutral shoe while still giving some support. The 1400 is great for speed-work and tempo runs and really anything faster then an easy run. The 1600 I use for shorter races and track workouts mostly and I actually do most of my easy runs in Mizuno Sayonaras. I select my shoes based on a what type of running I will be using them for and how they feel, I prefer all my shoes to be rather minimal in support though.

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